Classroom instruction is a very important component of a school sun safety program.  A single intervention, such as a one-time school assembly, can be impressive but for maximum effectiveness children should receive age-appropriate sun safety instruction at every grade level.  Fortunately, excellent educational materials already exist which have been designed for use by classroom teachers in existing school programs.

Primary school
Young children will benefit from learning how the sun’s invisible UV rays can damage the skin.  They can be taught the basic skills for personal sun safety, and can be motivated to protect against overexposure.

Secondary school
Teenage students will learn about skin cancer, what causes it, and how it can be prevented.  The glamour of sun tanning can be debunked by demonstrating the very ugly effects of chronic overexposure.

School policy reinforcement
Classroom sun safety education can include a review of the school’s sun safety policies and recommendations.  Discussion might center on whether the students could do a better job of protecting themselves.

Fortunately, excellent instructional materials already exist, designed specifically for use by classroom teachers.  Check our [link: Resources - Curriculum page] for a list and description of available products.

Ideas For Secondary School Projects Involving Sun Safety

One of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach it.  Here are a few ideas for projects that could be undertaken by secondary school students with the objective of teaching or promoting sun safety to others:
PowerPoint®: Design a supervised project for a few students interested in a health career.  Ask them to develop a talk on sun safety which they will present to their classmates or to an assembly of all the incoming freshmen students. (Mixed in with the scientific information, a couple of images of skin cancer projected on the big screen really gets their attention!)  A supplemental handout should be created which highlights the important points. One of the most important goals should be for the presenters to convince their audience that sun tanning is really stupid.  Reference material for the students to use can be found on the Project S.A.F.E.T.Y. CD, or among the references on this website.

Video:  Have a few students design and tape an educational video, documentary, or mock news program on the subject of sun safety.  The video can be entered in an awards contest.

Webpage:  One or more students could create a mock (or real) internet webpage.

Journalism:  Develop a sun safety story.  It might be based on a local case involving skin cancer.

Health:  Design and conduct a study of teen attitudes or behavior concerning sun safety before and after some intervention, such as one of the above activities or the study of sun safety in class.

Art/Advertising:  Create the original work for posters that will discourage suntanning.

For any of the above projects, a student should contact a local dermatologist to request his/her involvement in reviewing their material for accuracy prior to presentation.  If the students are making a video, they might wish to include a taped interview with the dermatologist.  In case your dermatologist is not already familiar with Sun Safety For Kids, refer them to this website and perhaps the students could convince the dermatologist to speak with your school district administrators to encourage sun safety program development at all the schools in the district. There's yet another project!

If you have another project suggestion, please contact us so we may add it to this page.



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